Several recent reports in the media have bemoaned the dwindling amount of time set aside for school sports and games, with education inspectors saying there’s not enough strenuous physical activity in many of England’s school PE lessons.

For some students it’s a sorry state of affairs as they look to assert there sporting prowess but for others it’s blessed relief – not everyone enjoys cross-country runs on crisp February mornings.

Now, the government is kicking into action by introducing its draft PE curriculum aimed at putting competitive sport back at the heart of school life. Yikes.

So for those of you who’d rather run a bath than run a mile I’ve compiled a list of ten excuses to have up your sleeve for when you just aren’t up for the cup. Don’t take it too literally folks, it’s all fun and games…

Wardrobe malfunction: The standard, go-to excuse for anyone looking to dodge games or sports day, forgetting your kit (accidentally, of course) could see you warming your tush on the sidelines while your chums chase eggs on a hard frosted patch of bare earth. Be warned though – sometimes forgetting your kit just won’t cut it; the more sadistic games teachers could force you to strip down to the classic vest/pants combo leaving little protection from the elements (nor the merciless ribbing from your mates). Worse still, you may be marched to the dreaded spare kit cupboard to find a suitable get-up from a hotchpotch collection of stinky shoes, high riding shorts and odd socks…

Oh the pain, the pain of it all: Feigning an injury is easy, but you’ve got to do it well if you want to pull it off. Get creative with bandages, plasters and any accessories you can find – limps, crutches, casts and muscle supports all give weight to your sob story. Try to appeal to the Gym teacher’s heart – if you’re trying to get out of football, for example, try saying you picked up the injury playing for the county or making a match-winning save, they’ll feel the pang of sympathy. If you’re really up against it and need a fix pretty pronto then remember: only a true friend will bloody your nose on request…

Can’t touch this: A decent amount of acting skill and dexterity with a make-up brush will be needed if you want to convince teach that you’re dangerously contagious. Get down the nearest joke shop and stock up on fake scars, fake blood, and latex for that authentic peeling skin look. Rope in some arty mates and see what you can come up with. Chances are Mr PE isn’t even going to want to take a sick note from your scaly hand let alone allow you nestle into the scrum…

Mr Creosote: Ever noticed how swimming lessons are cannily scheduled in to avoid being near lunchtime? Teachers know that you shouldn’t swim straight after eating for fear of a technicoloured pool come lesson end. Try saying your special dietary requirements mean you have to eat at certain times of the day (and woe is you that just happened to be right before the lesson). Clutch your tummy and chuck in an occasional urge for added effect.

London’s burning: Pretty risky this, given the amount of trouble you can get into for deliberately setting off a fire alarm and definitely a last ditch tactical diversion. You really want to make this one look like an accident – a well-placed free kick or a ‘clumsy stumble’ could accidentally set off the alarm without the need for arson. With all the kafuffle and excitement that goes with the fire bell routine there’ll be no time for games.

Science is the great antidote: Youth obesity is a hot topic in this day in age and the wobbly epidemic that started in the food halls of the US has spread like hot butter on a scone to the fair shores of Blighty. Time to pull the wool over the gym teacher’s eyes; tell them, you’re conducting a science project whereby you have to spend a week avoiding exercise and eating junk food to measure the result on the human body. Sit back, relax and stuff yer face while as the rest of the class huff and puff their way through an hour of exercise.

Religious reasons: Thou shalt not worship false deities, so the command goes. Well, yeah you can – stick your thinking cap on and come up with a name for a new religion, and when games time comes around calmly inform teach that your new found faith forbids you from taking part in competitive sport. Try to look insulted should they question your god.

Speccy speccy four-eyes: Losing or breaking your glasses is surely enough to render you benched come games time, right? That pudding can never be over-egged so stumble around arms outstretched, bump in to things and talk to inanimate objects – make sure your teacher knows that coordination is impossible without your wire-framed friends. Probably only going to work for our bespectacled brethren.

A-tishoo A-tishoo we all fall down: Did you know that grass pollen is known to cause a variety of different allergic reactions such as allergic rhinitis, allergic conjunctivitis and asthma? Well you do now – saying you’re allergic to grass pretty much covers from a long Summer of sport.

Scaredy cat: If the allergy excuse isn’t getting you anywhere there are plenty of freaky phobias to fall back on. Break out the long words like Auctoritasophobia (fear of authority figures i.e teachers), Aquaphobia (no swimming for you) or Rupophobia (fear of mud and dirt). Sod it – go the whole hog and pull out the ace in the pack; Scolionophobia (fear of school) could seal it once and for all.

There you have it – ten excuses for getting out of school sports and games, lined up and ready to go (home).

Need a School support teacher?

Did you like this article?

5.00/5, 1 votes


As an Englishman in Paris, I enjoy growing my knowledge of other languages and cultures. I'm interested in History, Economics, and Sociology and believe in the importance of continuous learning.